Archive for September, 2011

I’ve recently been suffering from my first cold of the season, and it caught me off guard. I didn’t have on hand any ginger or lemon for my usual cold remedy tea, no decongestants, nothing that would help. Naturally, in my desperate state of needing some kind of relief from crushing sinus pressure and pain and constant sneezing and blowing my nose, I tried searching the web for something, anything.

I came across something simple to make, with ingredients present in my house and decided to try it. It was a simple mixture of honey and cinnamon, found at Health Home Happy:

Simply mix 1 tsp honey with ¼ tsp cinnamon and ingest 2-3 times daily until cold symptoms recede.

I tried it and I felt better: the pain and pressure subsided, I actually slept that night, and my runny nose/sneezing was all but gone. But there’s really no telling if I wouldn’t have felt better the next day anyway. And I wanted something to work so badly, perhaps the placebo effect was in play as well. Who knows? Honestly, I don’t really mind a little brain trick now and then, if it makes me feel better.

But does it really work?

There are lots of holistic health sites that claim it does, but they also make all kinds of unrealistic claims about what honey and cinnamon can cure. Apparently, there’s a huge list of outlandish claims that’s been circulating the internet for quite some time, which originated in an article from the tabloid Weekly World News. Here’s what Snopes has to say about it.

And here’s a really down-to-earth response to those claims from the Crunchy Coach that I found very helpful.

Ok, now for some medical research:

According to the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Health web archive, it seems there have been several studies done about honey and upper respiratory infection, mostly in children, and almost entirely related to cough symptoms only. The results vary, with some studies concluding that honey works a little better than traditional cough syrup ingredients, about the same as cough syrup ingredients, or might work just as well as cough syrup ingredients, depending on the severity of the cough/infection. One study cited insufficient evidence in determining honey’s efficiency.

Here are links to the studies I looked at, if you’re interested.

Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents.

A comparison of the effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and diphenhydramine on nightly cough and sleep quality in children and their parents.

Honey for acute cough in children.

And I feel a little silly adding this, since it seems obvious, but I don’t have a background in medicine. If you’ve got something severe or persistent, see your doctor. If you really like the honey/cinnamon thing, you might want to mention to your doctor or pharmacist you’re taking it, as it can react with certain medications and have certain side effects. 

Anyone have any thoughts on this? What’s your favorite at-home cold remedy?


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The first day of No Impact Week (NIW) tackles consumption. Today’s task (and continuing throughout the week) is to not buy anything that isn’t food or isn’t absolutely necessary (like paying rent and such).

After losing my wallet on the bus yesterday, my second thought was, “This no consumption thing is gonna be easy.”

I say second thought because, let’s face it, you don’t want me to repeat my first thought. It was a major freak-out that lasted several hours and culminated in me continuing to freak out.

As much as I’d love to drop the money to replace my ID, public transit pass, and everything else that was in there, my accounts are all currently frozen until further notice from me: until somebody turns in my wallet, or until I give up on that and cancel them all. No credit card, no debit card, no access to my bank account. And I can’t even renew my library books!

At least I can feel successful with not buying anything. It takes my mind off how much it sucks to get my financial identity secured and back in my own hands.

Actually, replacing my ID will likely happen this week, courtesy of Husband’s credit card. And he’s gonna have to buy me a subway pass too. So he’ll fail this challenge at my expense….er, I mean, his expense. Though I’d put this stuff in the “necessary” category, so maybe it doesn’t count.  It’s all relative I guess.

So wanna go hardcore non-consumption? (Or really can’t trust yourself for the week?) Freeze all your accounts and see what happens. Good luck to all the NIW participants, but I’m gonna kick your butt on not consuming this week 🙂

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